Thanks for your contribution!
I think you are making a huge mistake diagnosing yourself with adrenal fatigue without proper testing.
I don't know if you noticed, but the date at the beginning of this thread, i.e. that of my first post, is December 21st 2009
, which is quite some time ago.
I wrote this earlier today (i.e. 29th July 2011):
I really don't want to find out that I have a malfunctioning thyroid, though, but I am going to have to force myself to get some tests done again, I can accept that - just very very unwillingly...
And I also wrote this on Monday July 25th 2011:
When I come back from vacation in September and when the kids and my DH are back at school, I am going to check out a doctor I found who does "hormone analysis".
I feel a little bit insulted because it seems that you only read the very first post in this thread - from December 2009, which is over 18 months old - and ignored the more recent posts, where it is clear that I have now accepted that I need to get some "proper testing" done.
In future, I would be grateful if you could do the following: before you go round telling people about the "huge mistake" they're making, could you please make sure you have read all the information available first
Looking back, I do indeed realize I was quite naive to think that I could do this diagnosis myself but in the meantime, thanks to people on this forum, and thanks to having had at least some
thyroid-related tests done, I am now slowly but surely - and very
unwillingly, I have to admit - accepting that the health issues I have been having most likely stem from low thyroid function and hormonal imbalances due to perimenopause - just like you have also discovered in fact!!!
As you can see from the quoted posts above, I am
going to get some testing done.
You also wrote this:
You simply don't know what the particular medical issue is until you get properly tested.
However, this issue of getting "properly tested" is one I have a little trouble with.
Firstly, there are so many tests around whose value is at the very least questionable (cholesterol, many sexual hormone tests, blood pressure readings) because the levels of these things can change from one minute to the next, so the meaning of whatever happens to be recorded at that second when your blood is drawn, or the BP reading is taken, is nigh on insignificant.
All these tests give us the impression we have these static "levels" of things, which stay exactly as they are from one doctor's visit to the next, but this is very far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that the medical profession has become obsessed with numbers and the old adage, "Treat the patient, not the numbers" is no longer adhered to.
Here's one little story which neatly illustrates why I personally am so sceptical of "proper testing" and the medical profession:
I went to my GP in October 2010 and told him about a number of symptoms I had which all sounded like anaemia. Besides having the classic symptoms, I could tell for myself from my blood work that I had B12 anaemia: I had a low RBC, but large red blood cells, borderline abnormally large in fact, and "too much" haemoglobin in each cell, all of which are classic signs of B12 anaemia. Both of these numbers had been highlighted by the lab on the chart as being borderline abnormal.
However, when my GP looked at my blood work, the only thing he paid attention to was the number referring to my B12 level, which was within the "normal" range. The number I had was 477 (don't ask me what the units were). In some countries, the lower limit for B12 has been set at 500 or 550; which would classify my level back then as too low. By others a "good" B12 level is said to be around 800-1100. So, armed with that information, and some other things I had learnt (that B12 levels can be artificially high due to gut bacteria and use of B-complex tablets containing B6, which I had been taking), I was convinced that I had B12 anaemia.
However, in Germany, they still use the "lab ranges", which differ from lab to lab because the various labs take the average levels of the people passing through their labs
to denote what is normal!!! This also happens in America and it is scandalous. The vast majority of people who get their blood tested are not healthy vibrant individuals (most of these people don't bother going to the doctors; they're too busy being healthy and vibrant!), so using the levels of the sick people who do
go to the doctor's to tell us what a "good" level of any particular substance should be is a joke.
The doctor just said, "Your B12 level is fine; I have no explanation for why you are not feeling as energetic as usual." He then suggested that I take an iron supplement. I pointed out that my blood work didn't point to iron-deficiency anaemia (in that case you have little
red blood cells, not enlarged ones) and he was rather surprised and said, "Well, yes, but you do
have low ferritin." And then he prescribed me a 15ml
sample of an iron supplement!!! One single dose worth!!! I don't know whether that was a mistake, but that's what he prescribed me.
Was I supposed to be happy with his analysis of my "numbers"??? To accept that "proper testing" had been done??? Was I supposed to just take the doc's word as gospel? And walk away and accept that he
was right and I was wrong, that my symptoms (or my moaning about having such symptoms)were probably due to my being mentally unstable or something???
Well, I didn't
take his word for it!!! I had several pieces of evidence to back up my diagnosis: the blood work provided me with three separate pieces of evidence, plus - although these pieces of evidence were dismissed as irrelevant - my own symptoms
In the case of this particular deficiency, I was lucky: B12 can be obtained legally without a prescription. I had done my homework and went home - annoyed with the doctor and upset that he hadn't taken me seriously and that he had only paid attention to ONE number - and immediately ordered some sublingual methylcobalamin. I started taking it and within a very short time, the symptoms I had complained of that day had GONE!!! I felt like a new woman!!!
However, after an initial burst of energy and a few months of feeling quite alright again, a while back I noticed that I was feeling tired a lot again. I bought three books on hypothyroidism (recommended to me by someone on this forum) and started reading up on the issue. One forum member also analyzed my blood work and told me I seemed to have a T4 to T3 conversion problem so, since writing the very post on this thread in December 2009, I have come quite a long way.
I have also been reading quite a few of the articles on Ray Peat's website, (plus others on other thyroid-related websites and forums) and through this reading, have had the suspicion confirmed that a thyroid issue - plus high oestrogen due to perimenopause - could be at the bottom of my problems.
In fact, I had actually long come to the conclusion that "adrenal fatigue" is in fact just another name for chronic magnesium deficiency. I have been having issues with low magnesium again lately and wondered why this was because I have been supplementing and doing all I can to get my magnesium levels up.
Ray Peat may have given me the answer: it could well be thyroid-related!!! (something to do with aldosterone and salt loss causing magnesium losses).
And this would indeed explain why the thyroid issue comes first and then
the adrenal fatigue. However, it is simply not possible to learn all these things concurrently: we are all on our own little journeys and we all keep learning, stumbling and falling, as we plod along.
So, you may well be right to draw the same conclusion as Pam, as you do below. I definitely have perimenopausal symptoms, too.
I am with Pam on this one-your symptoms might not necessarily be adrenal fatigue. I thought my adrenals were my problem but were normal on testing-it was my thyroid and perimenopause.
But I am very much hoping to find a doctor who will listen to me
, not just pay attention to one
number on a sheet of paper and ignore other information that contradicts this one number
And the jury is still most definitely out as to what constitutes "proper testing". I shall be buying this book very soon:
In fact, I think I'll place an order right now!!!
Anyway, I've calmed down now, but I did feel unfairly criticized.
Sorry about the rant, but I needed to get that out of my system.
Have a good weekend,